Paleo Minuses Continued
The Paleo Diet is based on evolutionary principles which deny a biblical creation and the consumption of certain food groups by mankind prior to 10,000 years ago. Interestingly, the biblical creation coincides with the archaeological evidence refrenced by The Paleo Diet for when these supposedly excluded food groups began to be consumed by humans. While The Paleo Diet has its merits, which I cover in the first installment of The Paleo Problem, I have several contentions with this philosophy. My first TWO disputes are:
- Ancient varieties of grains were consumed by the first people beginning at creation, although they were very different species from today's versions and were prepared in a healthful manner
- Raw & fermented dairy products were consumed by early people if not at creation, then shortly thereafter
According to The Paleo Diet, our Paleolithic ancestors did not eat legumes which are totally devoid of any nutritional benefits. This leads to my THIRD contention with The Paleo Diet. Legumes are actually seeds, so they fall into the same category as grains, which means they were included in the original diet from Genesis when man was given “every seed bearing plant” for food. Legumes are a staple for many traditional cultures even today, and they do in fact possess many health benefits, with some beans even being used for medicinal purposes, such as the castor oil bean. Like grains, Dr. Cordain points out that legumes contain harmful phytates and anti-nutrients which block enzymes and mineral absorption in the body, but also like grains, legumes become super foods when soaked or sprouted, and Ezekiel bread is a classic example of the use of sprouted legumes and grains. I covered some of the benefits of sprouted grains in Part 2 of The Paleo Problem, and this article by Authority Nutrition explains in detail the benefits of Ezekiel bread and sprouting. There are many recipes on the internet for Ezekiel bread, but many of them do not contain SPROUTED versions of the grains and legumes. This gluten-free recipe by Coconut Mama does, and the accompaning article does a good job explaining the process and soaking times for sprouted grains and legumes as well.
The FOURTH contention I have with The Paleo Diet has to do with the position taken on the use of added salt in the modern diet. Dr. Cordain contends that ancient people did not salt their food but got adequate sodium and other minerals, including blood pressure-lowering potassium, from foods. While I agree that ancient soils were replete with minerals, resulting in more nutrient-dense foods than we have today, salt was a highly prized commodity in every ancient culture, used as a preservative, a flavor enhancer, in covenants and religious ceremonies, and even as a ration for Roman soldiers (I know, much later time frame than early creation). In addition to soil depletion, The Stone Age Diet does not take into consideration the difference between refined salts such as Morton’s vs. organic, unrefined Sea Salt such as Celtic Sea Salt & Himalayan Salt. The full mineral complement contained in Sea Salt makes it a beneficial, heart-healthy additive. Any mineral taken in isolation without the necessary opposing minerals will create an imbalance in the body, and too little sodium (hyponatremia) comes with its negative health risks. Everything in balance! Read more about Why You Need Sodium.
So, what is your take on legumes and sodium? What kind of salt do you use?
In my final installment of The Paleo Problem, we will learn about the philosophical differences in detail between biblical vs. paleo viewpoints. While you are waiting, download your FREE copy of my introductory eBook on biblical health.
L’chaim-- To Life!